Tropical Fish Keeping - Aquarium fish care and resources

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-   -   How do you trim/catch plant particles? (

Austin 02-26-2010 09:44 PM

How do you trim/catch plant particles?
Just wondering how everyone would suggest I trim my plants? I know for swords, crypts, anubias, and dwarf saggitaria subulata I just pinch off the outer leaves when they die (right?)...

but what about water wisteria, rotala indica, and ludwigia?

When they grow too tall what do I do?

Also I'm curious how you all keep your tank with plants clean... I'm guessing since my plants are new there's lots of plant debris around the tank... it's very hard to catch each individual piece so HOW do you clean that stuff up?

redchigh 02-26-2010 10:43 PM

Well with the ludwigea, wisteria, etc, they're stem plants.

All you do is cut the stem, and then you can strip leaves off of the bottom inch or two of the stem and plant it as a new plant.

As for the "particles"... not quite sure what you mean. If they're relatively large, (individual leaves or something) I'd just let them go in the filter and get sucked in, then clean the filter.

If they're too tiny for that, then I wouldn't worry about it. If your tank is established, they'll basically "compost" in the aquarium, and release their nutrients back into the water, which will be absorbed by the plants.

Let me know if you need more help.

Austin 02-26-2010 10:50 PM

Oh, so for those kinds of plants, I can't just trim off the top? It seems that would be best so they can develope roots and not pop up and float around all the time.

Also the pieces are too big they get stuck on the intake and clog it up t.t lol. well I'll figure it out. Mainly wondering about the plants I listed.

Thanks for the info redchich. :) I'll do that if it's a no-no to trim the top off (wouldn't that make it bushier like it usually does for emersed plants?)

stephanieleah 02-27-2010 12:11 AM

when i do my gravel vac during water change (i don't "vac" any more per se, but I use a gravel vac), i run it over areas where there are dead leaves and I also put it up to the filter intake, which is always laden with leaves and junk. other than that, it's like red's like "mulch".

i'm learning this lesson now: the more you "do" in your tank, the less room for mother nature to work her magic.

beetlebz 02-27-2010 12:17 AM

the ludwigia ive always had problems with them dying off, which hopefully is now fixed lol ill get back to you there...

the water wisteria ive had wonderful luck with. i wait till it gets mid-stem roots and snip right below, two new plants. I had a tall one i cut into 3 and theyre all doing great!

the only other one i have experience with is red wendtii, and i just snip dead stuff and too tall stuff close to the base, no issues with it yet

redchigh 02-27-2010 01:23 PM

you can cut the tops off if you prefer, but pieces that are too small may have trouble establishing themselves as new plants.

They will get bushier where you prune them, but I would imagine it's better for the stem to branch out closer to the gravel or at least halfway... Not much point in getting your plants to branch out a couple inches below the water level, ya know?
(they might shade their own stems below that point, and begin to loose leaves around the base of the plant)

Oh and my aponogeton is shedding leaves occasionally- I let the leaves pile up on the filter intake and then scoop the mess off of the filter with my net.
there might be a better way, but thats how I do it.

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